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IMAM Ro.43 Kit

Octopus (Pavla Models) 1/72 IMAM Ro.43 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2005 Manufacturer Octopus (Pavla Models)
Subject IMAM Ro.43 Scale 1/72
Kit Number 72053 Primary Media Styrene, Resin
Pros Nicely detailed kit Cons
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $33.98

First Look

IMAM Ro.43 Kit
IMAM Ro.43 Kit
IMAM Ro.43 Kit
IMAM Ro.43 Kit

In the mid-1930s, the Italian aircraft company IMAM (Romeo) designed a biplane trainer that was designated as the Ro.37. This successful design led to a modified version that the Italian Navy could use as an observation aircraft. The resulting Ro.43 was essentially a strengthened Ro.37 with floats that could be catapult-launched off of cruisers and battleships, then hoist-recovered back onto the ship for servicing.

The Ro.43 served as the 'eyes of the fleet' during Italy's years in WW2. Over 100 Ro.43s were in service in 1940 when Italy entered the war, with only 28 remaining operational by the time the Armistice was signed in 1943.

The Octopus (Pavla Models) kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on two parts trees, plus a number of resin detail parts that are nicely cast.

The first tree has the fuselage, wing struts, cockpit floor and pilot's seat. The second tree contains upper and lower wings, tail surfaces, center and outboard floats, and propeller. The Piaggio engine, exhaust header, and other detail parts are resin.

Despite the intermediate rating shown for skill level, the assembly of this kit is very straightforward, especially since the upper and lower wings attach directly to the fuselage. This allows for a much easier time aligning and installing the wing struts. Likewise the resin parts will require use of cyano adhesives, but these parts are not used in critical assembly areas that would allow for a little 'experience building'.

Markings are provided for three examples:

  • Ro.43, MM27103, Cruiser Montecuccoli, 1938
  • Ro.43, unknown, Cruiser Eugenio di Savoia, 1942
  • Ro.43, unknown, Battleship Vittorio Veneto. 1941

This is a nice-looking multimedia kit that is reasonably not going to be a difficult build. Any one of the colorful schemes will look good on your scale flightline.

My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!